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The Burn of Muscle and Frustration

Posted Oct 05 2009 10:01pm

Being 50-75% there does not feel good; however, I think it's a good idea for me once in a while to remind myself of what it feels like to be far less capable than those around you. Or to appear to be so. For this must be how Nat feels around many neurotypical people. But look how gracefully he deals with being that different. Is he aware of his difference, and simply used to it? Or is he aware, and frustrated? I would say both. And I admire him all the more for his sunny disposition. I don't believe I would be nearly as sweet.

I took a bellydance workshop yesterday with Bellydance Superstar Amar Gamal, who also performs with the Bellyqueen troupe. She was wonderful. This was the first Bellydance Superstar workshop I've taken that was solely about Egyptian dance (not tribal, not spinning), so the focus was entirely technique and combinations. It was skillfully taught, and Amar is a very warm and accessible teacher.

I consider myself to be about early Intermediate, or perhaps a strong Beginner; this workshop was at least Intermediate +. I struggled to keep up, and for the most part I did in one way or another, but not beautifully. I suppose that is what it means to be almost Intermediate level. A few years ago I would not have been able to do this workshop at all.

The difficult aspect was the layering of one move on top of another. For example, we would do a scissor step (one foot goes forward, then backward, while the other foot drags you sideways, so you can move). Then, scissor step on tip-toe. Then, add some hip lock to it (side-to-side). Then shimmy while you are doing that. Also, arms should be moving together in semi-circle, one side to the other; hands and arms should be slightly tensed, full of energy and holding a strong line from your body. All this, while remembering the move that comes before and then after, such as a hip lift, or a pivot turn. Then go back and do it towards the other side.

I am not complaining, I am just in awe of those who can do this (like most of the women in the class). I could do 3/4 of the step, and I could put it all together in a dance move 50% of the time. My arms, unfortunately, were 25% there. So I tried to do the fake-it-till-you-make-it, and I tried not to feel bad about it, but I did have that burning in my throat that I used to feel in 3d grade math.

I took notes, however, and practiced for Ned when I came home, even though I had shooting pains in my right heel and lower back. I iced everything, and slept in the boot (which keeps my foot flexed as a treatment for the plantar fasciitis in my heel). I will rest today, but tomorrow -- more of the burn/ice cycle. It's the only way to improve. I wonder what Nat thinks when he wakes up, facing school, and all of the demands on his body and brain. It only makes me admire that kid even more for how far he's come.
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